Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Memorable New England Christmas Dinner

Yes, even restaurant critics dine at home occasionally, and one of the special days for our family has been Christmas. Since we were brought up in CT, we carried many New England traditions with us for Christmas dining. Stuffing made with oysters instead  Continue Reading »

Smoke’n Hops BBQ on 290 Offers Up Some Creative Dishes

Most BBQ joints, when they deviate from the norm, usually do so by adding a whole lot more sides like, say, Pok-e-Jo’s. (And their sides are terrific.) But the new place out on 290 just north of Dripping Springs called Smoke’n Hops has taken ‘cue  Continue Reading »

Unmitigated Extravagance and Big Bucks for Austin at F1 Weekend

I’m not and have never been a fan of any kind of auto racing, be it Nascar, The Indy 500, Formula 1 or Demolition Derby. Hence, I was not excited when the breathless announcement was made several years ago that Austin would play host to a Formula  Continue Reading »

Why Most Chefs Start So Young

I was watching some food talk show the other night while drifting off to sleep. Last thing I remember was hearing Bobby Flay, nationally known restaurateur, Iron Chef, and host of about 39 shows on the Food Channel acknowledge that he had dropped out  Continue Reading »

Could We Have Reached the Saturation Point in Austin Fine Dining?

I can’t remember a time in the past 12 years when I’ve heard so many fine dining owners complain about a slow summer that didn’t immediately turn around when schools got back in session. Could it be that we’ve reached Austin’s  Continue Reading »

Groupon Copywriters Push the Envelope of Mediocrity

As I rule, I don’t pay much attention to the accompanying verbiage on Groupon restaurant deals. In fact I don’t pay much attention to the popular discount offers at all. But my wife called my attention to one last week that was simply too  Continue Reading »

Friendly Competitors

One would assume that restaurants, like other businesses, are inherently competitive with each other. To the extent that you would have never expected Microsoft’s Bill Gates to walk into the launch party for Apple’s I phone and offer congratulatory  Continue Reading »

“Better Than Sex” in Key West

Okay, calm down folks. This is actually the name of a dessert only restaurant in Key West. The place is as you might expect, dark and seductive. And the dishes themselves are about a 10 on the aphrodisiac scale. You can begin with the “Between My Red  Continue Reading »

The Latest Trend in the Wine Business: The Stelvin Closure

One accepted mandate for years in the wine business was the simple concept of loss. Out of 100 bottles of wine that used natural cork as closures, there was almost a given that up to 7% of the bottles could be tainted or “corked” by the presence of  Continue Reading »

Where Austin’s Top Chefs Like to Eat

You would think that after nights of toiling away in their own kitchens, Austin chefs would like to hunker down ay home and relax. Au contraire! They go out and let somebody cook for them. We recently saw the uber-hot Paul Qui at Jack Allen’s Kitchen  Continue Reading »